Five for Friday

Friday, I'm in love.  Here's a peek back at my week! 

1.  My newcomer ELL's have been learning about the Pioneers, and to finish off our unit, we played Oregon Trail! I didn't even know this was still around.  Apparently there's an app you can buy, but after a little googling, I came across this one!

2.  I wish I had video-ed this moment.  We are working on an economics unit, and the first part is a future budget simulation.  Today's activity was a Game of Life type scenario, where kids had to roll the dice to see how much money they would gain or lose from their budget.  My kids said it was the best game we've played all year.  I'll call that a win!

 Here's a shot of their simulation- so much fun!

3.  My teammate has an Osmo, and we have been borrowing it periodically.  It's a great 5 minute time filler, and so perfect for ELL's!

4.  This is Lacey's new trick.  Can you see her? She sticks her nose under the fence and pretends she is some ferocious guard dog.   She has a big imagination.

5. I passed my principal exam!!!  What a relief!  Thanks for your support and good wishes- they paid off!

What happened in your world this week? Link up with Kacey!

Plan a Moving Up Day for your school!

Did you ever get "first day jitters" as a kid?  I did, and I still do!  I used to beg and plead with my mom to let me stay home on the first day of a new semester, for fear that I'd go to the wrong place. To alleviate the stress of the first day, I implemented "Moving Up Day" at our school for Kindergarten-5th grade.

Students get to meet their next-grade teacher, learn about some classroom rules and policies, and be a little more prepared for the first day of school.  This event is easy to plan, takes as much or as little time as you have, and costs no money- perfect for the end of the year!

Below is the letter I send to teachers, explaining what the day is all about, and giving some suggestions for activities.

If you want to plan a Moving Up Day at your school, here are some tips and tricks to make it easy!
  1. Get the support of your administration early on.  
  2. Get a copy of the master schedule- it's the easiest way to see which times/periods will work best for you. 
    • Study the master schedule, learn it, be one with it.  
    • When you pitch your plan to administration, it helps to have a backup time or period, and be familiar with the teachers who are free then. 
  3. Are there students who won't be participating? Make sure you have a plan for them. .
    • In our school, 6th-8th grade doesn't participate, so I make sure that those students are all involved in an activity which frees up the classrooms in the middle school wing.  
    • For example, this year the 8th grade will be having graduation practice, the 7th graders will be corralled in the cafeteria with substitutes, and the 6th graders will be at their electives. 
    • Students being retained will not gain anything from attending the program, so find a teacher who is free that period and send all retentions to them for an activity period.
  4. Send your schedule to the teachers about a month in advance. 
    • This gives plenty of time for preparation
    • Resend it the week of the event with any updates
  5. Be clear about your expectations for the session
    • Provide a list of suggestions that will fill the time 
    • Ask your administrators if they would like to address any of the students or grades during the session
  6. Take a post-mortem survey of teachers, administrators, and some students involved
    • Ask questions that will help you plan for next year's event

 Have you planned a Moving Up Day event at your school? What are some things you do the same or differently?

Thank You, Teachers!

Whether they teach art, science, music, history, English, math, or phys ed, teachers play a huge role in making students the leaders of tomorrow.

Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a site-wide sale in honor of all those fabulous teachers out there!  Now's the time to stock up on your end of the year and summer school resources.  Don't forget to leave feedback to earn credits on future purchases.  Happy shopping!

Currently May

Yay for May! I know lots of you are gearing up for the last few weeks of school, but we go until June 12.  That's pretty early for New Jersey schools, actually, so I'll take it!

1. It's a lazy Saturday morning here! My husband has never seen Holes so we're watching it together before heading out for the day. 

2. Congrats to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! Can't wait to see her style that baby!

3. Next week starts the 2nd round of PARCC testing for my kiddos.  I wish I didn't have to stand by and watch them struggle.  Breaks my heart. 

4. I have quite a few events coming up- bridal showers, retirement dinners, baby showers, rehearsal dinners, weddings, graduations...I need some dresses, stat!  I'm on the hunt...where do you shop for all-occasion dresses?

5. I woke up with a killer headache today.  Hoping it goes away by the time we see Avengers tonight. 

6. I'm going to Las Vegas for the TPT conference!! 
I hope we can squeeze in some time in Cape May this summer- there is a restaurant called the Blue Pig Tavern that I love. 
We keep talking about re-doing our kitchen, but haven't started the process (besides endless pinning!). 

What's on your mind this month? Link up with Farley

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